I propose to take Questions Nos. 141 to 143, inclusive, together.
The Office of Public Works, through the Arterial Drainage Acts, has submitted the proposal for the Glashaboy Flood Relief Scheme to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for formal Confirmation. The Minister will, over the coming months, undertake an environmental assessment of the proposed scheme. This assessment will be in line with required legislative requirements and will involve a public consultation. The procurement and appointment of a Contractor will be progressed for this scheme following formal Ministerial Confirmation.
The flood relief scheme will be funded from within the allocated €1 billion for flood risk management over the period 2018-2027.
The Minister for Finance has overall responsibility for the Government’s flood insurance policy. The Office of Public Works (OPW) has an important role to assist insurance companies to take into account the protection provided by flood defence schemes completed by the OPW.
In this regard, the OPW has a Memorandum of Understanding with Insurance Ireland, the representative body of the insurance industry. This Memorandum sets out principles of how the two organisations work together to ensure that appropriate data on completed schemes is provided to insurers to facilitate, to the greatest extent possible, the availability to the public of insurance against the risk of flooding.
The insurance industry has its own flood modelling tools for assessing the level of risk that it is willing to underwrite in relation to individual properties. While the Memorandum notes the OPW requirement that, when assessing exposure to flood risk, insurers take full account of information provided by the OPW on completed schemes, it does not guarantee the availability of flood risk cover in the locations for which information has been provided. The decision on whether to offer insurance, the level of premiums charged and the policy terms applied are commercial decisions for individual insurers based on their assessment of the risks they would be accepting on a case-by-case basis.